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Saudi Arabia and Russia ‘clear fog’ before OPEC meeting


Saudi Arabia and Russia clearly stating support to extend a global deal to cut oil supply for another nine months. OPEC, plus Russia and nine other producers, have cut oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day since January. The pact runs to March 2018 and they are considering extending it. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this week he supported keeping the deal in place for nine months, following on from similar remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oil prices fell on Friday after Brent rallied to just below $60 a barrel the previous session but support from the comments by the Saudi crown prince for extending OPEC-led output cuts created a floor. Oil hit $59.55 on Thursday, its highest since July 2015 and more than 30 percent above its 2017 lows touched in June. US crude prices have been capped by rising US production. Oil prices have been hovering near their highest levels for this year amid recent signs of a tightening market, talk of an extension of production cuts and tensions in Iraq. Friday’s announcement of a cease-fire between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga from the country’s autonomous northern Kurdish region eased some concerns.

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